For all of Manchester City's inability to sustain a challenge in the Champions League, it has been their two talisman who have suffered the most.
Both Sergio Aguero and David Silva have tried their utmost in a somewhat strained and lacklustre team, but so far, under the guidance of two different managers, the club have not surpassed the first round of the knockout stages.
None more so than Aguero, whose three goals against Bayern Munich last season showcased his ability, should be competing in the latter stages of the competition.
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Despite the Argentine's goalscoring exploits, however, the Citizens continue to falter in Europe's elite competition.
Going into every group match, such is City's inconsistency, there is no telling whether Manuel Pellegrini's side will emerge victorious.
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Confidence is the most important aspect of this, but there is a wider issue. Without any European history behind them, there is no such belief that success is possible in the Champions League.
If City had history of progressing to the latter stages of Europe's most prestigious club competition, then such confidence would transcend into the players themselves.
Ultimately, though, it is up to City's stars to transform themselves into players capable of challenging for the Champions League. Aside from the aforementioned duo, the likes of Yaya Toure, Vincent Kompany and Kevin De Bruyne are players capable of steering the Sky Blues to European success.
Silva and Aguero knew exactly what they were getting themselves into upon their arrivals in 2010 and 2011 respectively, of course. Both could have easily chosen the luxury life at Real Madrid or Barcelona, but they wanted a new experience, and with two Premier League titles to their names, it should be seen as a success.
But for all their happiness and titles in Manchester, if they do not reach the heights in Europe, their careers will be subject to 'what ifs'.
Most importantly, though, it is City who must do these players the justice they deserve, before the clouds of doubt appear over the Etihad as to whether Silva, Aguero, and the club in general, will ever fulfil their potential.
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